Moving can be difficult and stressful, regardless of the circumstances. Packing, cleaning, expenses, uncertainty – it can be overwhelming. This stress is often heightened when transitioning to a senior living community. During this time it is extremely important to pay attention to the mental health and well-being of everyone involved, even when looking forward to the move. Here’s how to take care of your mental health during a big transition.
1. Stay in the loop
Perhaps even more anxiety-inducing than moving into a new place is not knowing what that move might look like. When is the move happening? What is the community like? Take an active part in the decision-making process, and stay informed about all aspects of the move. This is a big deal.
Even for a person looking forward to the transition, stress can set in as the move approaches. So talk about the move and ask questions about it. Have open and honest discussions about what things may look like. Don’t be afraid to express yourself, and remember that our team members are there to help make this process as easy as possible.
2. Make a plan
Planning for contingencies can also help alleviate anxieties. Figure out what kind of routine you’d like to create for yourself. This will help you feel more in control, and allow for a shorter adjustment period. It may be helpful to visit a few times before you move in. Feel free to join in on some of the activities and interact with residents – that way it won’t feel like you’re going in completely cold.
3. Make new friends
A great way to improve our mental health is feeling connected to our community. While it might seem easier to stay in our own apartment, making new friends can help ease the transition and shorten the adjustment period. This is where activities and outings can be helpful, as you already know there’s a common interest. If you are shy, you may consider asking the community’s team members to make some introductions to help break the ice.
The key is to build familiarity on as many levels as possible through the living environment, through people, and through activities and routines. Caring for our mental health is important on a daily basis, but even more so during periods we know will be full of stress. It is vital that we take the necessary steps to take good care of ourselves as we look forward to the next chapter.